Septum Piercing General Info + FAQ
What Is a Septum Piercing?
A septum piercing is a piercing that goes through the nasal septum, which separates the left and right nostrils. The piercing needle goes through the thin piece of flesh towards the front of your nose, past the cartilage. This is called the columella, but is often referred to as the "sweet spot". Some people do not have a columella, but the piercing can be done through the cartilage, however that can be extremely painful.
Do/Would you have/get your septum pierced?
Note on the Video Below
I am not, and do not claim to be, a professional piercer. For less biased information, please see a piercer near you.
The video below is some information from a professional, but it contains the actual procedure of the piercing itself. Don't watch if you don't want to see a needle being pushed through some girl's nose.
A Professional Piercer on Septum Piercings
The correct term for this piercing is the septum piercing, but they are also called
- Bull ring piercing [just an association]
- Nose piercing [not incorrect, but a 'nose piercing' generally refers to a nostril piercing]
- Septril [incorrect as the septril piercing goes straight through the tip into the septum]
- Jungle piercing [not sure where this one came from]
Questions and Answers
- Did it hurt? This is literally the most asked question ever and anyone with any facial piercings will tell you that. I barely felt the needle pass through my septum, but I did feel the tug as my piercer followed the ring through. On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate it at a 1 or 2. My nose was relatively sore for the 3-5 days after, but this can be expected from any piercing.
- How much did it cost? My piercer charged me $40, which is reasonably priced, and it included the jewelry. I tipped $8 because I was very satisfied with the end product. [Note: It is common courtesy to tip your piercers as they are performing a service for you. They deserve your gratitude.] But the price of any modification will vary depending on where you go, how well you know your piercer, the jewelry, etc.
- "How big is it?" Most piercers stay around a 16 gauge to start off, unless you request a bigger size. A septum piercing can be stretched after the initial piercing as long as your anatomy allows for it.
- How long does it take to heal? My piercer said 4-5 weeks, but I always wait about 2 months before changing the jewelry because I know my body has a long healing time. This will depend on your body. If you are unsure whether or not your piercing is healed, go to your piercer.
- What kind of aftercare is required? Sea-salt soaks, sea-salt soaks, sea-salt soaks. This is the answer to pretty much any piercing. Just mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea-salt [not table salt. I repeat, NOT TABLE SALT] with 8 ounces of water. Use a Q-Tip to get all up in your nose, or just dip the tip of your nose directly into the solution. I soak twice a day; in the morning and before bed. Don't soak more than 3 times a day, it will dry out your piercing. Saline spray (H2Ocean is a nice one) is also an option if you don't want to use all your sea-salt on your nose. I am also a firm believer in the LITHA [Leave It The Hell Alone] method. If your bacteria-covered fingers aren't disrupting your healing piercing, the process will go by a lot quicker.
- Do you flip it up? No. Just my opinion, but you probably shouldn't pierce something if you can't have it at work, your parents won't allow you to, etc. Please don't constantly move your healing piercing. Either leave it up or down during the healing period.
- Do you think I should get my septum pierced? If you want to do it and you have permission and all the appropriate consent to do it, then go for it. You don’t need my yes or no. But if I’m being asked if I would recommend getting a septum piercing over a different one, I’d say yes, septums are cool. Usually I just avoid the question and tell them to do whatever they want with their body. Make sure you are willing/able to take care of it.
Pros & Cons
Irritating when you have a runny nose
Rejections are impossible, migrations are rare
Never stays aligned, always crooked
Easy care and simple healing process
Septum Stench: the smell of dead skin cell build up
Wide range of jewelry (see above)
"Bull ring" remarks are common
Works well on many people
Very easy to bump during the healing period
How Retainers Work
Circular Barbells: Often (incorrectly) referred to as "horseshoe rings". These babies are a bar that are about 3/4 of a circle with two balls/spikes/endings that screw onto each end. I only recommend internally threaded barbells since the externally threaded ones tear up your piercing.
Captive Bead Rings: CBRs are similar to circular barbells, but instead of two endings, there is a single ball that pops between the endings of the ring. These are nice because there's no threading, but the bead can be a pain in the neck to get in. I also see a lot of people wear CBRs without the bead.
Clickers: These aren't my favorite as they tend to be really gaudy, but that's just my opinion. They are straight rods that have a hinge that a full bottom goes on, then latches onto the other side. Clickers aren't the best unless you let your piercing heal with a straight barbell in it, which is kind of strange and unheard of, because you'll be shoving a straight rod through a curved piercing. They are also notorious for pinching your nose and being difficult to unhinge.
Retainers: I love retainers. They are jewelry made specifically for flipping up, into your nostrils. They are shaped in a way that grasps the inside of your nose so that it doesn't fall down as circular barbells often do. Retainers can come in a staple-shaped form or a curvier one.
There are others, such as segment rings. I've also seen people wear curved barbells so they jewelry didn't hang out of their noses. People sometimes wear pinchers when they're stretching.
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Some Things to Consider
- Septum piercings are easy to do, but very easy to mess up. Even when clamps are used, the needle may not go through at a completely level angle, giving you a wonky piercing. They are often necessary to do 2-3 times in order to get a straight piercing, so be prepared for this if you want to get it done.
- The location of your piercing should be towards the front of your nose, and high up in the tip. They are often pierced too low in the nose, which can cause a lot of problems later.
- Some people do NOT have a sweet spot, so if you still want the piercing, it'll have to go through your cartilage.
- Letting your piercing heal flipped up will cause the curve of the hole to be upside down, which sometimes makes wearing jewelry flipped down uncomfortable after the healing period.
© 2015 Reina